WIEF-SEACO Foundation Roundtable 2019, Dhaka, Bangladesh

29 October 2019

08.00 AM - 05.15 PM

Ushtab, Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden Hotel, Dhaka Bangladesh

It has been acknowledged that regional collaboration is the key to unlock a resilient as well as sustainable economic integration and strengthen cooperation with the rest of the world. Many regional institutions have emerged to address common challenges and opportunities among neighbouring countries.  A cohesive regional engagement would also provide a stronger voice at ​the international arena.  African Union (AU), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Arab League (AL), Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and European Union (EU) are among key regional entities in existence today.  

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional organisation in Asia ​that was established to promote economic cooperation between countries bordering the Bay of Bengal.  As a member of SAARC, Bangladesh has taken major economic strides over the last decade. Today, it finds itself on the cusp of transformative growth, ready to make the step up to a middleincome nation. Yet, looming in the backdrop, ​lie the crosscurrents of protectionism and economic nationalism.  Bangladesh needs to look beyond its existing economic partners to ensure its national development plans are on track.    

The WIEF-SEACO Foundation Roundtable 2019 will address the challenges and prospects of Islamic finance and sukuk, insights into the future direction of halal industry as well as opportunities for infrastructure development. The final session at the Roundtable will introduce SEACO, a regional partnership model, which ​will link up some countries ​of the Bay of Bengal with selected ASEAN countries through various initiatives to strengthen economic cooperation among these nations. 

28 October 2019
7.30 PM Welcoming Dinner (by invitation only)
Hosted by: SEACO Foundation
Venue: Ushtab, Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden Hotel
29 October 2019
8.00 AM Arrival of Guest and Registration
9.30 AM Opening Ceremony

  • Introductory Speech by Mr Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Executive Chairman, SEACO Foundation
  • Welcoming Remarks by the Hon. Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman, WIEF Foundation
10.00 AM Session 1
Rethinking Infrastructure Development: Laying the Foundation for Prosperity
Many countries are facing increasing demand for sustainable growth-inducing infrastructure such as roads, transport and social infrastructure systems. Additionally, advances in technology also requires equal consideration in order to propel the nation to its next level of development. Considering the scale of
investment required for infrastructure, it is important to explore innovative yet sustainable financing models to implement infrastructure projects in the region.
The session will explore:

  • role of cross-border infrastructure in the process of regional collaboration
  • challenges and new financing opportunities to help improve the delivery of sustainable infrastructure and services
  • how technological advances help to create economic, social and environmental value


  • Sinthya Roesly, Head of BOD concurrently Executive Director, Eximbank Indonesia
  • Ahmed A.R. Buhari, CEO/Founder, Coastal Energy Pvt. Ltd, India
11.30 AM Session 2
Islamic Finance: Catalysing Growth
Islamic finance has emerged as an effective tool for financing development worldwide. It has expanded rapidly over the past decade covering bank and non-bank financial institutions as well as takaful, capital markets and money markets. Its growth provided opportunities to strengthen financial inclusion, deepen financial markets and mobilise funding for development by offering new modes of finance and attracting unbanked populations that have not participated in the financial system. The session will explore:

  • role of Islamic finance in the promotion of regional trade and investments
  • impact of internationalisation of Islamic finance through Islamic bonds or sukuk
  • regional initiatives to help enhance financial sector connectivity with other economies to support mutually-reinforcing growth


  • Meor Amri Ayub, CEO, Bond Pricing Agency Malaysia
  • Khalid Howladar, Managing Director & Founder, Acreditus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Samina Akram, Managing Partner, Samak Ethical Finance Ltd, United Kingdom
1.00 PM Lunch & Informal Networking
Hosted by SEACO Foundation
Venue : Ushtab, Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden Hotel
2.30 PM Session 3
Halal in the Technological Age
Halal has emerged as a global movement that covers multitude of industries including food and beverage, Islamic finance, pharmaceutical, logistics, tourism, modest fashion, media and entertainment, and the creative arts. Halal industry has become very competitive. The session will explore:

  • how technology and innovation can be expanded and improved upon to help serve business needs and support integrated halal lifestyles
  • examples of tech innovations and resources that are useful to the halal industry
  • synergistic collaborations between relevant institutions to promote technological innovation in halal industry


  • Dr Barbara Ruiz Bejarano, Director of International Relations Institute Halal Spain
  • Dr Irwandi Jaswir, King Faisal International Prize  Laureate 2018, Indonesia
  • Prof Dr Winai Dahlan, Founder Director, Halal Science Center, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand


  • Fazal Bahardeen, CEO, Cresentrating & Halal Trip, Singapore
4.00 PM Session 4
Presentation on: SEACO – Accelerating Regional Cooperation
The idea of South East Asian Cooperation (SEACO) came about from OIC’s focus and discourse on regional economic integration. There exists no regional organisation or platform for economic cooperation involving five OIC Member States namely Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Maldives. SEACO, was conceived to fill in this void.Presenter:

  • Mr Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Executive Chairman, SEACO Foundation
4.30 PM –
5.00 PM

  • Closing Remarks by Mr. Salman F Rahman, Private Sector and Investment Advisor to HPM
  • Vote of Thanks by Tan Sri Ahmad Fuzi Hj Abdul Razak, Secretary General, WIEF Foundation
5.15 PM End of WIEF Roundtable
Refreshments / Informal Networking
6.00 PM Press Conference
8.00 PM Gala Dinner (by invitation only)
Hosted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Venue : Ushtab, Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden Hotel
30 October 2019
9.30 AM
5.00 PM
B2B Meetings
One to one business meetings between foreign investors and prospective businesses can be arranged at the Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden Hotel.
Organiser : SEACO Foundation


  • The Organisers reserve the right to alter the content and timing of the programme in the best interest of the Conference and is not responsible for cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Programme as of 6 September2019

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